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Sunday, August 28, 2016

Savoring Summer







It seems like everyone has given up on summer and has already moved on to fall. And by everyone, I mean bloggers and retailers. I'm not ready to give it up yet. So, I'm doing my part here to keep it alive with a quick look at this dress that I scored on super sale. I passed on it originally because I'm not usually a fan of dresses with predominantly white backgrounds (I'm so pale; I'm sporting my summer tan in these photos #iwishiwaskidding). But, it haunted me so I gave it a try and I'm so glad I did! I've definitely gotten a lot of use out of it so far. In the same week, I wore it to the office (with my trusty Target blazer) and then wine tasting (with a floppy hat, of course!). I've also thrown a jeans jacket over it when necessary in the AC and I think it looks as good with it as does paired with the navy blazer.

Blazer: here | Dress: here | Necklace: here

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Dresses as Shirts, Again

Since I moved to DC last summer, I've cleaned out my closet about three times. I started the process because I had to downsize my wardrobe before I got married; the closet space is limited and it wasn't all mine (#marriageproblems). But, I realized I really liked having a more streamlined wardrobe. It made getting dressed easier in the morning; I could actually find what I wanted and I really loved everything in my closet. So I started really purging. At first, I started with the things I never wore. Then, I moved on to the things I sometimes wore, but didn't love. 

Since I started the process, I've become much more discerning when making new purchases. I haven't quit shopping by any means. But, the process has made me realize what fits best, what I wear most, and what I really like wearing. So I keep that in mind while shopping. 






When I saw this shirt in the dress, I had to have it. But, it didn't come in tall and the length was way (way!) too short. Fail. So, I waited for it to go on sale and bought it knowing that I'd hem it to make it a shirt. Then, I noticed JCrew carried the shirt version (here; new version here), only to realize it would be way too short as a shirt on me. Double fail. So, I carried through with my plan to turn the dress into a normal length shirt for me.

I have to say, this shirt along with the other two tops that I made into shirts from dresses (here and here) are my absolute favorites and are on frequent rotation. I guess it's because I really  have to like a dress to want to turn it into a shirt.

Also, I'm obsessed with this necklace. I ordered it after seeing it on a blogger I follow on Instagram. When it arrived, I was so glad I had taken the risk (I knew nothing of the online boutique). But, before I could wear it, it broke in the box. So, I contacted Happiness Boutique, and they replaced it free of charge. Amazing customer service! I've worn it non-stop and it has held up super well!

Shirt (dress): no longer available | Necklace: here | Jeans: old | Shoes: old

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Summer Staple

We attended our third and final wedding for the season this past weekend. Fortunately, we have some time to recover before two more in October. I love weddings, but I have to admit I'm a little exhausted from all the traveling that comes with them. We're looking forward to a low key weekend at home for the Fourth!

I'd been eyeing this shirt for at least a year. I almost bought it last summer, but didn't and regretted it ever since. This year, it took me three tries to find the perfect fit (I should have stuck with my usual JCrew size to begin with), but it's been so worth the trouble! I wear it almost weekly because I can dress it up for office or pair it with shorts or skinny jeans (I even love it paired with my white denim!) on the weekends. I wore it this weekend to travel in and thew on a green cargo jacket when I (inevitably) got cold in the airport on on the plane.  

Here, I decided to pair it with my striped skirt (last seen here). It is advertised as more of a tunic so I thought I could get away with a regular, but turns out the proportions and length worked much better in my usual tall size (I even played with going up a size in the regular).

 
  

Shirt: here, also available in navy, white, and olive | Skirt: old, similar here | Shoes: old, similar here 
| Necklace: here

Sunday, June 19, 2016

It's Wedding Season

Wedding season is in full force and we have five total this year! Fortunately, I LOVE weddings - I'm always up for a good dance party! We've already attended two weddings so far and I wore the same dress to both. I picked it up from Anthro earlier this season on a whim. I liked the pattern, fabric, and length. But, I didn't (and still don't) love the neckline. I kept it because I desperately needed a dress to wear to an early May wedding. 

I thought I was OK with the neckline when I tried it on at home, but when I saw the below picture taken at the first wedding all I could think was that I looked like a giraffe because it accentuated my long neck. So, I decided I'd be looking for something else to wear to the next wedding. I had never tried Rent the Runway and had heard nothing but good things, so I figured I'd give it a try. I've mentioned before (you know, when I used to blog regularly), that our closet space is limited and I really like for my clothes to pull double duty. Well, my special occasion dresses seem to be worn once and take up closet space that is in short supply, so I thought RTR was the solution to my problems. Unfortunately, the dress I selected for this weekend's wedding turned out to be damaged or not returned on time so RTR offered to send me an alternative dress (two alternatives, actually). But, neither worked. Both were way too short and too casual. So, I pulled out this dress as my back up. Instead of curling my hair, I wore it straight and I have to say I, I'm glad I gave the dress a second chance. It is so cool, fun to twirl in while dancing, and is easily dressed up or down with jewelry and/or shoes. 

Vineyard wedding in Texas

At the wedding this weekend, I met a woman with a very similar body type and we had a long conversation about how mean kids were to us when we were in middle school; we both got teased for our height and weight. I still remember those nicknames and they definitely impact choices I make today; I hadn't really thought about that until we had the conversation and I realized how reluctant I'd been to wear this dress because it made me feel like a giraffe despite all the kind words and compliments from friends and family. Anyways, I'm back at this blogging thing and hope to keep to a more regular schedule!



NC Wedding

Dress: Here | Wedges: old, this year's version here  (also available in stores at TJ Maxx and Marshalls) | Heels: old, similar here | Earrings: here

Monday, March 14, 2016

Packing for Business Trips









I had to travel for work the first week of March and I'll be doing so again for the last two weeks this month. This means, I'll be doing my fair share of packing (yuck!). I packed for my first overnight business trip in the fall of last year, and realized I had no idea what I was doing. Somehow packing for work was way more complicated than I expected it to be (and harder and less exciting than packing for vacation). 

So, I decided to go with a black, white, and grey capsule wardrobe. It allowed me to pack only black tights and black shoes (instead of mixing in navy) which saved me a lot of space (I packed for a week in a carry-on).  This is one of the outfits I packed. I know, it's nothing terribly exciting. But, these pants are the the best fitting dress pants I've found in years. I prefer to purchase lightweight wool pants that are lined for work even though that means I have to get them dry-cleaned (I have to say, I welcome the lighter load of laundry). I find that they last longer, hold their shape better throughout the day and between cleanings, and are more professional looking. I was a little in between sizes so I sized up and the slight stretch worked to my advantage - they don't become baggy by the end of the day. 

This shirt is made out of what feels like heavy drapery. I'm not kidding. But in an awesome kind of way, because we know how much I love jacquard and peplum. So, of course I had to have it. I almost passed on it because when I tried it on in store (which I never do), the zipper was extremely hard to manipulate. I got stuck in the shirt in the dressing room. The sales associate had to rescue me. For real. But for the love of all things peplum, I had to buy it. And I'm so glad I did; with just a couple of wears, the zipper loosened right up!

Pants: here | Top: here | Cardigan: here | Necklace: here

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Office and Wedding Wear






Hi! I'm back! I was out of town last week for work and although we took photos in advance, I left the flash drive with all of my photos at home so I couldn't post. 

I just realized we have five weddings this year and the first is fast approaching. So, when I saw this dress during JCrew's last rollout I thought it would be the perfect option for weddings and the office. I love to pair floral or patterned dresses that aren't necessarily work wear with a blazer for work during the summer (see favorites here and here). I picked this one up on sale and I have to say the print and fit are spot on in person. The v neck appears to be very low in the stock photo, but in true JCrew fashion, it's completely work appropriate on. I will also pair this necklace with lower necklines if I'm concerned it's too low; I didn't wear it for that purpose here, though.

I'm not sure if I want to keep it - I love how this outfit photographed, but given my stomach issues, I'm afraid the dropped waist may make me self-conscious. Note that that the dress has a waist line immediately below the bust with vertical seams that create a drop waist. I'm just not sure I love the drop waist on me when I experience stomach problems. But it's so awesome, I want to keep it.

Dress: here | Blazer: old, new version here | Necklace: here

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Spring Fever

I don't know about you, but I'm so ready for Spring! Heck, I even jumped on board with spring cleaning and cleared out my closet a couple of weekends ago! We got a little taste of it this weekend with temperatures in the upper fifties and low sixties. It was just wonderful! I took Sadie on some extra long walks because I just wanted to be outside. 

Spring brings the same challenges I face in the Fall when it comes to dressing for the office. I'm cold natured, so I won't go bare legged in fifty degree weather. But, the temperatures definitely put me in a lighter brighter mood and make me want to dress the season. 

I bought the blazer and scarf from JCrew, but at separate times, only to find out that the pink color in the scarf is a near perfect match to the blazer, so I always pair them together. But, I normally throw them on with navy pants, nude wedges, and a white blouse. I don't currently have any really good fitting navy dress pants, so I opted for a navy dress. I love blush and navy and it feels so spring-y to me!





I also wanted to let everyone know that JCrew Factory started selling their pencil skirts in tall, you can find them here. I spoke to a customer service representative this weekend and they did not know whether Factory would be carrying more styles in tall in the future. I always make it a point of letting JCrew know that I love their talls whenever I've got a representative on the line and I've made it a point to request that Factory carry tall sizes too. I have no idea if they listen to customer feedback, but I figure it can't hurt and I definitely want the regular retail store to continue offering talls. I've also noticed that retail's last couple of new arrival rollouts have featured longer dresses even when they weren't available in tall, so I've been loving it!

Dress: old, similar here | Blazer: old, similar here  also love this blue here | Tights: here (currently on sale!) | Shoes: old, similar here | Scarf: old, but I'm loving the pink accents in this one (and the print generally, I'm dying for the dress, here)

Monday, February 15, 2016

Winter Necessities Review




 
I know I haven't been blogging much lately. Not nearly as much as I'd like. But, work has been insane and my husband and I keep passing a cold back and forth so the past few weeks have been rough. Also, the cold weather and winter elements have left me uninspired so it's been hard for me to get excited about getting dressed. 

However, I have been wearing a few winter accessories regularly lately and I thought I'd give you a more detailed review. The coat has appeared on the blog before (seen here). And if you follow me on Instagram (@prettytallthings) you probably saw these boots a while back. 

This coat was a birthday present so I received it in November. Initially I was wearing it at night to walk Sadie right before bed, when the temperatures dropped. However, we have had our fair share of days in the teens, snow, and ice so I have been wearing it almost daily since January. I got a Tall Small and I could not be more pleased with it. The sleeves are long (maybe even too long according to some) and although it doesn't fall quite to my knees, it's only a couple inches shy. The length provides added warmth for my legs; I can definitely notice how much colder my calves are because they're exposed. 

The coat keeps me extremely warm, isn't bulky, and is very easy to move in. I wear the hood a lot as well and I love the faux fur trim, it definitely adds additional warmth. I will say it is hard to hear or see out of my periphery when I wear the hood, but it is so warm. I have also been pleased with how dry it keeps me! So, if you're looking for a heavy duty winter coat I highly recommend this one. It kept me warm through #blizzard2016.




I bought these boots directly from Sperry online last fall when Nordstrom was having one of its big sales because my size was sold out at Nordstrom. Sperry was price matching, and I figured they were a must have for all the walking I'd be doing in the winter. 

They seem to be a big hit with most people (see reviews here and here). I'm totally disappointed. First, the sizing is a bit off. I tried these in an 8.5 and with thicker socks they were a little too tight which is unusual for me. So I exchanged for a 9, and thought they'd work with thick winter socks. The size, although a little big, is OK. Definitely not the deal breaker. 

The deal breaker: they aren't warm. Well, the front half of the boot doesn't keep my foot warm. My heel and ankle stay pretty toasty.  But, my toes and the rest of my foot freeze. Plus the traction isn't very good. At all. Definitely not what I would expect from Sperry for a winter weather boot. 

I was initially drawn to these because of the zipper on the inside. I figured they'd be that much easier to take on and off when walking the dog. And it is a nice feature, but it definitely doesn't make up for the other drawbacks. 

I will be looking to buy replacement boots and I think I'll go with the LL Bean duck boots this time. Let me know if you have any suggestions or comments on great winter boots (or which version of the Bean boots you love)!

Coat: Here (unfortunately it looks like Tall sizes have sold out) | Boots: similar here (identical except fabric on shaft)

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Banana Bread

I'm not a big cook, but I have several dishes that I really enjoy making. This is one of them. It's been a while since I last made it; I don't think Tyler has ever even had it. Work has been off to a crazy start this year and this weekend I took some time to catch up around the house. We did some major spring cleaning in our closets and I can't tell you how good it feels to have them back in working order!

I forgot to take photos before we started eating!



Recipe available here
I'm on a gluten free/dairy free diet so I swapped the whole wheat flour for gluten free flour and it turned out just as tasty as it did when I made it with whole wheat flour previously.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Leopard + Leather






 I'm not the biggest fan of leather (faux or real) clothing. I'm not really sure why, but it's not my thing.
But, some way, some how, JCrew has a way of taking an element, like leather, that I'm not a huge fan of and incorporating it into something that's got my name written all over it. Suddenly, I become willing to try something outside of my normal wheelhouse. This dress is the perfect example. 

When I saw it on JCrew's website, I was drawn in by the long sleeves and zipper details. I love zippers. Then I realized the leather patches on the backs of the sleeves and I have to admit I was a little disappointed. I thought it ruined the dress. But, I couldn't pass on an otherwise amazing dress. It's very similar to this dress that I love (seen here) and wanted to grab in black but missed out. I will say the placement of the zippers is lower than I typically like - I prefer an empire or natural waist. But, I appreciate how pairing the dress with a scarf doesn't hide the detailing which usually happens to me. I'm wearing a tall and I really love the length, though it is shorter than a lot of their tall dresses run (suiting dress in particular). Also, the sleeves are more like a bracelet length which I love. I think after all these years of wearing shirts with sleeves that are too short, I don't like wearing true long sleeves. I find they bunch too much when I'm wearing bracelets or a watch (...which is every day).

Dress: here | Scarf: here | Tights (I don't recommend them, they're from Loft this year and haven't held up to a month's worth of wear; I recommend Hue here) | Boots: old, similar here
| Watch: here

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Winterizing My Summer Wardrobe






I'm not sure if it's because I'm tired of my winter wardrobe or if it's because I'm hoping for spring, but I've started reaching for some of my summer work wear recently. This skirt is case-in-point. I consider it a spring or summer skirt since it has a predominately white background. It's a standard weight dress skirt, but fully lined. Although I don't currently own any, I have been known to wear white cords in the winter. But, I don't do white jeans much past labor day (I find that white cords or other textured pants available in the winter are more of a "winter white" whereas white jeans are not). I'm just not capable of it. Maybe it's the rule against white after labor day, but I just don't find bright white to be a color I want to wear in the winter.

So although my entire spring wardrobe isn't available to me for wear during the winter months given the pattern or color, I own plenty of items that easily cross seasons. This skirt, one of the more decidedly summer pieces that I've recently winterized, is fairly easy to transition because of the blue and black pattern. I played up the blue and black color mixing by pairing it with navy tights and black booties - something I never thought I'd do, but I really like the pairing here. The sweater is also navy with black lace on the shoulder. Also seen here and here

I'm pretty sure this new approach to getting dressed in the morning means I can start buying new spring items and wear them now!

Sweater: old Tippi from JCrew, same style here | Skirt: old (but I'm loving this pattern and it would work well across seasons) | Tights: here | Booties: old, similar here

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Blueberry





Winter isn't my season. I don't like cold weather and the late sunrise makes it really hard for me to get out of bed in the morning. My winter wardrobe doesn't help. I have the hardest time finding dress pants that fit. Banana Republic used to be my go to and I still have pants from there that are four and five years old that I wear weekly. But, the past couple of years have been a miss on the fit for me. My tries at Loft and JCrew have also been major fails and I haven't had the time to really scour the universe for work pants. 

All of that is to say I've been shopping my closet for things to wear - dresses mostly. That's when I rediscovered this dress. It's a couple of years old from JCrew. It's one of their collection dresses that I snagged on super sale. They brought it back since then (this year in tall as well) and it is currently on sale in extremely limited sizes. I failed to monitor it closely so I missed out on the talls, but it is definitely on my list of "must buys" if I catch it on sale again. 

I never wore it much because I always felt like a blueberry when I put it on. It's a thick wool dress definitely meant for the winter so I've always paired it with navy blue tights and usually grey or navy pumps which leaves me looking like a blueberry. Or a flight attendant. I'm not sure which. Either way, it's not the look I'm going for. Until I got on board with the riding boot and suiting dress band wagon out of necessity a couple of weeks back. Pairing the navy dress with navy tights offset with cognac riding boots did the trick. It's one of my favorite outfits now! I will say, I've been torn about the dress with grey tights. It's OK, but for some reason it just doesn't make the outfit like the navy tights and riding boots do for me.

Dress: here, similar here | Tights: here | Boots: old, similar here | Scarf: old, similar here

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Snow Day Shopping and Hopping

We got a total of approximately 22-24 inches of snow in DC on Friday and Saturday. We live in the city and within walking distance of several locally owned restaurants that remained open during the storm, so we were able to get out and enjoy the snow, drinks, and dinner. 

Sadie, our lab mix, LOVED the snow. She's never seen this much snow before and she took full advantage - hopping around in it like a bunny. DC did an amazing job of clearing the sidewalks from the very beginning of the storm, so we had to purposely seek out non-shoveled areas to get a feeling for how much snow we actually got. It was as deep as Sadie's legs are long! See a video of her below.

video

I have to admit, I failed as a dog mom. Sadie's never shivered in the winter months and has never seemed to mind walking on snow and ice before so I've never thought it necessary to buy her a jacket or booties. She did just fine on Friday and Saturday when she was primarily walking on snow. Today, however, there were some areas that she clearly found it painful to walk on and my only guess is that since the sidewalks are now completely clear and there's no more snow falling, she was walking directly on the salt that they were using to treat the sidewalks given the melting mounds of snow that line the streets. I'm not sure if we should get her booties and if we did if she'd even wear them so I've been trying to navigate the sidewalks for her. But, since they've piled the snow so high along the curbs and in the flower beds, it's getting difficult for her to find a place to go to the bathroom. Any insights from dog parents is appreciated!

I was sick most of last week with a cold and sore throat so we had a low key weekend and I did some online shopping. There are so many great new arrivals (and JCrew is scheduled to release more on Tuesday)! See some of my picks below! All images are clickable.



https://www.jcrew.com/womens_special_sizes/tall/dresses/PRD~E2306/E2306.jsp?color_name=black

https://www.jcrew.com/womens_category/dresses/weartowork/PRDOVR~E4684/E4684.jsp?color_name=hthr-baltic
http://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse/product.do?pid=1706280020000&cid=1035006

http://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse/product.do?pid=1854550020002&cid=1050295

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and enjoyed the snow if you got some!